Cambodian PM: Clashes with Thai troops 'real war'

Updated: 2011-02-09 19:47


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PHNOM PENH - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that the recent clashes with Thailand in the disputed border areas was "a real war", adding that there would be no more bilateral talks.

"This is the real war, not the military clash," he said while closing the annual conference of the Ministry of Commerce. " Thailand created this war. (Thai Prime Minister) Abhisit must be responsible for the war."    

Hun Sen accused Thai troops of firing cluster bomb at Cambodian troops. "Our war with Thailand will be taking long time," he said.

The premier also called for international mediation in bilateral negotiations. "There will be no more bilateral talks, and all negotiations will be participated by the third party."

"Now bilateral mechanism is worthless, so it needs international mechanism. Cambodia will use international mechanisms as much as possible such as asking UN to convene urgent meeting, and sending UN peacekeepers or UN observers to Cambodia."

"Thai government should not be afraid of international mechanism," Hun Sen said.

While rejecting bilateral talks and vowing that Cambodia will not compromise on border issue, the premier stressed that "peaceful negotiations will continue, but the negotiations must have the participation of the third party."

Hun Sen said that Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong will report the UN Security Council on this issue.

He also rejected the Thai media's reports that his eldest son was wounded in the latest exchange of fire with Thailand on Monday.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of Preah Vihear temple has been a long-standing dispute. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6 square kilometers territory around the temple has never been resolved.

The latest four-day clashes on February 4-7 between the two countries have already left some soldiers dead or wounded on both sides, and inflicted damage on the Preah Vihear temple which was awarded World Heritage site in 2008. At the same time, tens of thousands of the two countries' villagers nearby the disputed areas fled home for safe shelters.


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